What career opportunities are there in health physics?
Health physics is a profession involving many disciplines. It has common scientific interests with many areas of specialization: physics, biology, biophysics, engineering (nuclear, civil, mechanical, and electrical), chemistry, genetics, ecology, environmental sciences, metallurgy, meteorology, hydrology, medicine, physiology, toxicology, and industrial hygiene. The wide spectrum of knowledge required of the health physicist makes this profession both challenging and rewarding. More information on these career opportunities can be found in a brochure (http://hps.org/documents/career_opportunities_brochure.pdf published by the Health Physics Society (HPS). You may also find a video on health physics careers on the HPS website at http://hps.org/students/hpvideo.html.
How do I decide what school to go to for a degree in health physics?
There are nearly 30 universities in the United States with health physics programs, according to the HPS Academic Education Committee Career Guide (http://hps.org/academiceducation/academiclisting.html). A number of these programs have undergone the accreditation process established by ABET (www.abet.org) to identify programs which provide a degree at the BS or MS level that minimally meets the consensus standard.
Which program is the best?
Programs offer strengths in different areas, so you need to identify the area of health physics of most interest to you and align your interests with the strengths of a particular program. Much information about particular university areas of specialization within the field of health physics, along with admission requirements and degrees offered, can be obtained by going to each university's website (http://hps.org/academiceducation/academiclisting.html). You might prefer a particular geographic location. Fortunately these universities are scattered throughout the United States and Canada.
Will I be able to get financial aid?
The HPS has a listing (http://hps.org/students/scholarships.html) of scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, travel grants, and other forms of financial aid that are available at all levels of education. Individual programs can be contacted for additional information.